There was a time, not too long ago, when doing exercises where your knees tracked over your toes was meant to torture for your knees. Well, times have changed and it is now recognized that the opposite is true; knees over toes exercises are a good thing for your knees.
The knees over toes about-face has been led by one man – Ben Patrick. You probably know him as the Knees Over Toes Guy. Ben developed a training program for himself first. During his college basketball career, he was constantly plagued with knee injuries. With his knees over toes program, he became knee pain-free.
Why Knees Over Toes?
The knees passing over the toes is a completely safe and natural action that we do all the time in our everyday movements. When we walk down stairs or assume a squat sitting position, which is very common in Asia, we are bringing the knee in advance of the toes.
When we do knees over toes exercise, we are able to build up the tissue strength around the knee. Functional strength in the knees over toes position is enhanced. Knees over toes exercises are also the best way to maximally work the muscles that surround the knee, especially the vastus medialis, which sits directly above the knee.
When you do exercises such as squats and lunges with your news kept behind your toes, you increase the stress on the lumbar spine. This can lead to lower back injury and increased spinal pain.
In a 2003 study, the amount of knee and hip torque was contrasted between knees over toes and knees behind toes squats. The results showed that the average knee torque when squatting with knees going over the toes was 28 percent. However, when the knees were kept behind the toes, the amount of hip torque increased by a staggering 1073 percent over squatting with knees over toes. All of that extra torque has to be borne by the spine!
The Best Knees Over Toes Exercises to Fix Knee Pain
Reverse Sled Pulls
Begin by pulling the sled uprights and pulling the sled backward for 10 paces. Then turn around and go back to the start position. After a few sessions, attach a harness belt to your waist. This will allow you to sit deeper as you move back. You will feel a deep burn in the calves and quads from this exercise.
Slant Board Squats
- Stand on the slant board with both feet completely on the board and relatively close together, Your toes should be pointing forward. Hold the kettlebell in front of your chest, slightly away from your body so that you are reaching slightly forward with your elbows.
- Shift your entire body back as your pelvis tucks under the torso slightly.
- Maintaining this stacked position, with your rib cage over your hips, and inhaling. Then descend directly down to a bottom full squat position.
- Without a pause, exhale as you drive back to the top position.
- Keep your weight back through the heels as you perform a smooth, piston-like action to complete your rep count.
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Banded Knee Flexion
- Position yourself on the floor on your back alongside a bench. Put a loop resistance band around your feet and place both feet on the bench. Your body should be at a 30-degree angle with your shoulder blades on the floor. Your knees should be slightly bent.
- Pull your left foot back toward your torso.
- Lower under control and repeat.
- Do 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg.
- Stand on a slant board with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a rope for support.
- Lean back like you were water skiing as you squat all the way down to bring your hips and knees forward, your knees should almost touch the ground in front of your toes.
- Push back to the start position
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Knees over toes exercises will revolutionize your lower body training. Not only will you be making your knees much more robust, you’ll also be working your quads more effectively than ever.